The 2013 Miss Universe pageant is not responding to pressure to move the event out of Russia. Calls for the relocation of the event stem from the country’s recent spate of antigay laws and increasing report of violence from Russia’s citizens, military, police, and clergy.
According to a press release from the Donald Trump-owend Miss Universe Organization:
“The Miss Universe Organization believes in equality for all individuals and is deeply concerned by the laws recently enacted in Russia and currently in place in several other countries. Both the law, as well as the violence experienced by the LGBT community in Russia, are diametrically opposed to the core values of our company. Our organization has always embodied a spirit of inclusion and is a celebration of people from all countries and walks of life.”
According to the organizers, the Miss Universe contest is more than a beauty pageant. Those vying for the crown must be intelligent, well-mannered, and cultured. In a metaphor in which we are a pageant judge and the Trump organization is the contestant, we’d dock minor points for weak press release grammar (the evening gown portion of the competition? The swimsuit?) but we’d knock Trump right out of the competition for the question and answer section in which they use faulty logic when asked why they don’t leave Russia. By not rescinding lucrative hosting duties, Trump is rather explicitly letting the discrimination go unchallenged.
And no, a press release isn’t a challenge. No crown for you!
"Miss Universe is an organization with incredible impact all around the globe," GLAAD representative Omar Sharif Jr. said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "Following this important first statement, Miss Universe has a unique opportunity to continue to speak out against the anti-LGBT violence and laws in Russia and demonstrate that the international community does not support Russia's anti-LGBT brutality."
The November 9 contest from Moscow's Crocus City Hall won’t include previous host Andy Cohen.